Complex norovirus transmission dynamics at hospital wards revealed by deep sequencing.

Widström J, Andersson ME, Westin J, Wahllöf M, Lindh M, Rydell GE

J. Clin. Microbiol. 61 (11) e0060823 [2023-11-21; online 2023-10-27]

Detailed knowledge regarding norovirus transmission within hospitals is limited. We investigated a norovirus hospital outbreak affecting 65 patients at five different wards. PCR showed that 61 (94%) of the patients were infected with genotype II.4 strains. Successful Ion Torrent deep sequencing of GII.4 positive samples from 59 patients followed by phylogenetic analysis revealed that all sequences but two clustered into four distinct clades. Two of the clades belonged to GII.4 Sydney 2012, while the other two belonged to GII.4 New Orleans 2009. One of the clades was predominant at two wards, while two clades were predominant at one ward each. The fourth clade was found in sporadic cases at several wards. Thus, at four out of five wards, variants from one clade were predominant. At one ward, a single clade accounted for all cases, while at three wards the predominant clade accounted for 60%-71% of cases. Analysis of quasispecies variation identified positions that could further discriminate between variants from separate wards. The results illustrate a complex transmission of healthcare-associated norovirus infections and show that sequencing can be used to discriminate between related and unrelated cases.

Clinical Genomics Gothenburg [Service]

PubMed 37889018

DOI 10.1128/jcm.00608-23

Crossref 10.1128/jcm.00608-23

pmc: PMC10662361

Publications 9.5.0